Major-league planning, collaboration and leadership

Enbridge's Career Pioneers series: Part 3, Christine Neff

Christine Neff, Vice President, Major Projects, Calgary

A celebration of achievement. A promise of untapped potential. An ongoing quest for equality.

International Women’s Day, fast approaching on March 8, is all of these things and more. “The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all,” says United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In honor of UN International Women’s Day, we’re profiling women in the Enbridge workforce who’ve chosen to pursue non-traditional careers. Today’s spotlight is on Christine Neff, a vice president of our Major Projects division, based in Calgary.

Q: How did you end up working as a vice president? What sort of journey brought you here?

I’m an engineer by training and have worked for Enbridge since 1997.  I have been fortunate to have a wide variety of roles within Enbridge Gas Distribution, Liquids Pipelines, and Major Projects, with both technical and leadership focus.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

Meetings, meetings, meetings! I have accountability for a diverse area and spend much of my time meeting with my teams and peers to review and approve initiatives, develop strategies, collaborate, and provide support to the broader business.

Q: What motivates you to get up in the morning?

My cats! . . . Seriously, I really enjoy getting to the office and meeting up with my team and broader work groups.  We accomplish things of real value, and it is great to be part of that.

Q: What do you find most intriguing about the work you do?

My work is very diverse and constantly challenging. I really enjoy shifting gears from a very detailed technical issue to strategic planning, on to process improvement and other initiatives, with a regular overlay of employee performance and development.

Q: What is one quote you live by?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Q: Given the experience that you’ve accrued, what advice would you have for those young women following in your footsteps?

Choose a job that you enjoy! We all spend a lot of time at the office, and I certainly have found that I’m most successful at a role that I enjoy. Be brave . . . take on new challenges, stay positive.

Q: What sort of work do you do to mentor young women considering, or pursuing, a non-traditional career path?

I’ve had lots of opportunities for a wide range of interactions with women earlier in their careers. I’ve been part of the formal mentorship program at Enbridge, I’ve connected with folks through the provincial engineering associations, I’ve attended many informal networking sessions, and I have had several one-on-one meetings, often referred by co-workers. I’m always open to the conversation, and find the different motivations and approaches we all have very interesting.

Q: The goal of International Women’s Day is to celebrate women and their achievements. What would you consider one of your most memorable achievements?

I had a work project that was just completed recently that I’m very proud of. It involved the installation of a section of pipeline, in a non-typical operating configuration, with a very short timeline. I was involved in all aspects of the project from design and estimation, through assigning and mentoring a new project leader, to achieving successful in-service. It was a significant project from a revenue perspective, and very enjoyable for me, as it allowed me to exercise technical as well as leadership skills, and learn many new things all in a fast-paced, high-expectation environment.